Too many people view drones as fancy gadgets used by people who like to have fun. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It is true that it is a lot of fun, but it is much more, it offers serious opportunities or ways to make money.
The commercial drone industry has grown significantly from around 2012.
- 2012 – $40 million
- 2017 – $1.1 billion
- 2018 – $3 billion
- 2019 – $3.3 billion
- 2027– $124.1 billion
These staggering figures show us the tremendous growth in the drone technology industry.
Other good news is that drone prices are constantly falling because of the new technology and competition among drone manufacturers.
For those who like flying drones, making a living from work that is enjoyable, is a good deal. As someone put it,
“Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
Those who are interested in getting into this drone business, but hesitate to jump in with both feet, can start part-time along with one’s present job. On the other hand, it is certainly possible to quit your present job altogether and become and become an entrepreneur wholeheartedly.
There are many ways, and numerous markets in which a drone business can prosper.
Like any other business venture that is successful, a willingness to learn, commitment and hard work are key ingredients.
The following are some of the many ways to make money with drones.
1. Real Estate Photography
Real estate photography is a huge market. Drones with cameras can create an introductory video of a project, such as surrounding areas, major roads and highways, and any public park/open space can be shot by drones with cameras. A good commercial drone can provide aerial shots of site locations, prospective views that customers can see, and create a showcase of the general project layout area.
It is important to keep in mind that many real estate developers are using drone photography services for their projects. So if a construction project is coming up, it is vital to visit the site and meet the developer and share the drone services you can offer.
2. Security Surveillance
Drones can be the eye-in-the-sky and keep watch of people at various locations, and at particular locations when warranted. Home and office security is an obvious area to use drones.
Drones can also be used to detect dangers to property like fire damage, water leaks, etc. Even city and municipal authorities can use drones to monitor certain specific locations as part of their surveillance and disaster prevention efforts.
The video stream from the drone can be viewed on a smartphone or at a monitoring facility, which can be offered as a value-added service.
3. Crop Survey
Agriculture is a major area for using drone technology since farmers can collect an unprecedented amount of information using sensors and videography. In addition, the cost of acquiring this data is quite affordable.
Data about soil hydration levels, variations in soil composition, and pest infestations can all be captured using high-resolution cameras and sensors.
One of the great advantages of using drones is that it is so simple to fly them repeatedly. It is easy to fly hourly, daily, weekly, or at any other time intervals, to collect valuable crop and soil data. The data is then used to plan farming activities, like irrigation, fumigation, fertilization, etc. Such an approach, enables farmers to maximize their crop yield and minimize using resources, such as water and pesticides.
Agricultural surveying is definitely an attractive option for drone pilots.
4. Disaster Management
Drones are an ideal fit for search and rescue operations. Not only can they reach areas which are completely unsafe for humans to go, they are also economical when compared with other options, such as flying an airplane or helicopter.
Another advantage of using drones is that they are able to fly during the daytime, as well as at night. In addition, drones can be fitted with infrared and night-vision sensors which enable search and rescue teams to search for humans trapped in various hazardous situations. Furthermore, specially equipped drones can detect the heat signature from the human body.
Drones can also be used to deliver emergency medication and supplies in areas which are difficult, if not impossible, to reach, such as areas with mountainous terrain, or floods, or landslides that can block roads or highways to remote villages.
5. Outdoor Advertising
Outdoor advertising can be a very effective way of advertising because anything unusual in the air tends to catch the attention of people. Drones can capture that attention by flying a drone with a company’s logo, for instance, at special events, such as sporting events, state fairs, holiday celebrations, political events, etc.
It is vital that anyone who gets involved in this particular sector to become familiar with the laws related to flying drones above crowds of people. The organizers of any of the events must also be contacted, since permission from them to fly your drone is required.
6. Drone Rentals
A drone rental business is possible, even if you don’t have any interest in learning how to fly drones yourself.
Rentals are sought by individuals who don’t want to spend a considerable amount of money on a professional drone that may be essential for one or a couple of jobs.
What is essential in this business is an initial investment. You must be able to purchase several drones so there are various options to offer to customers when choosing to rent a drone. This means providing some inexpensive drones, others that are relatively more expensive, and some quite costly.
Most people and thus recover back the money with a few rentals, the return on investment can be significant if your rental business works out well.
While you may have to make the initial investment in purchasing the drone, you can recover back the money in a few rentals. The return on investment can be big if your rental business works out well.
Renters need to be informed about the legal aspects of flying a drone. In addition, renters should be encouraged to purchase a renters insurance policy which covers any damages to the rented drone similar to car rentals.
7. Submersible (Underwater) Surveys
Submersible surveys are for those who can afford a serious investment, because submersible drones (underwater drones) are expensive. While there are some submersible drones that can be purchased for around $1,000, most cost much more. These submersible drones can be connected to a laptop or a smartphone, an important feature.
Submersible drones can be used to conduct marine research, environmental surveys, aquaculture, inspections of tanks, propellers, and boat hulls.
Underwater drones have to be equipped with powerful lighting to be able to take clear pictures in a dark environment. Waterproof cameras with high resolution are also essential. Using underwater drones for videography and photography is a lot more economical than hiring an underwater diver for a day or so.
Submersible drone business owners can either offer services of operating the drone and offering clients the footage, or renting out submersible drone equipment.
Drones clearly have numerous commercial applications. The seven sectors examined in this blog provide opportunities to make money flying drones.
It is important to do some market research before you decide which business to pursue and once the choice is made, making further research is also recommended.